The best laid plans

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by El malabarista, May 31, 2011.

  1. El malabarista
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: England

    El malabarista New Member

    Greetings from the other side of the pond. We recently broke the cardinal rule of buying a half built boat on a whim, no survey, no returns and no idea what the hell it is.
    The upside is it was cheap.
    However we now are facing the daunting task of where to start. The boat is a 30' sailing yacht that was a professional dinghy builders' retirement plan. He designed and built her using moulds that we appear to have inherited with the boat. She has no engine but will definitely need an inboard as she is counter sterned with the strangest shaped hull I ever saw. I will try to post a pic or two when I have mastered the art. Suffice it to say that her waterline length is only slightly over half of her LOA. But she is beautiful 'cos she's ours.
    I have probably hundreds of questions to entertain you all but am planning to eak them out over the strip out and rebuild so as not to appear as stupid as I feel.
    A couple of questions tho'
    The ballast is formed by thousands of really tiny lead shot (birdshot?). Which I would imagine would really mess up the impeller of any pump they come into contact with. Should I mix them with epoxy and pour them back into the keel?
    If so how do I work out how much weight is needed and where? Forward or aft?
    The mast is about 3.5' longer than the boat ( obviously sourced second hand) and appears to be very strong and a little too chunky. Is there a fixed ratio of mast/boat size?
    Most importantly where do I mount it?
    We have both done a fair amount of sailing but always on other peoples boats so this project is a way for us to travel where WE want. Neither of us have ever built a boat before unless you count various rafts that usually sank, so there is a lot of stuff going on that I have never even considered before.
    I have been reading (lurking) around this forum nearly all day so I thought I had better put in an appearance.
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Ballast and rigging are part of the design. It can vary enormously. Where in England are you? I can put you in contact with some good NA there. I worked for quite a while in Devon.
     
  3. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Welcome to the forums.. Waiting for the pics, before it's a bit difficult to comment except luck with the project :)
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Without plans or any real experience, you'll need a couple of professionals to help you out. The first would be a surveyor or boat carpenter to look her over and give you a plan of action and second is a designer or NA to flesh out the plans so you can build something that will work. Consider this your first investment in the project, as without it, you haven't a prayer.

    As to the ballast, bird shot works great, but is best smashed down so you remove the air surrounding them. This is fine, quite enjoyable work, particularly when the other half has pissed you off. A quick mentioning of her name as the hammer falls is worth a small fortune, I think the scale is 10 - 12 blows per therapy session fee. These are small blows. You're not trying to pound the balls through the hull, just flatten them into each other. Once the lead is mashed down, much of it will have welded itself to it's neighbors, but a considerable amount will remain loose. Mix the last inch or two of balls with epoxy and pour this over the top of the ballast, then 'glass the whole shooting match to the hull shell good, so it can't come out, even if the hull is inverted.
     
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I have seen boats with a last layer of ferrocement. It seems like a cheaper solution and less problem with heat buildup.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Cement is a common choice, but can pop out in a knock down. The heat build up is minimal with a lead shot pour. The lead works as a heat sink.
     
  7. El malabarista
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: England

    El malabarista New Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys.
    We will be speaking a NA and designer tomorrow to arrange a survey and Q& A session.
    The advice about the lead shot is a great one however, just to be clear, i remove all but a thin layer, think of Ros and hammer it into the keel ( gently) as it is fibreglass. Then add another layer and repeat? This sounds like a job i will enjoy.
     

  8. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Dammit Par, I have a severe pain in my side and it's all your fault. The pain is from laughing at your advice for pounding down the lead shot. Keep up the good work, the laughter was worth the pain.
     
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